Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Laurie + Barry: A Look Back at My Wedding Day

This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary (we've been celebrating all month actually, but this weekend marked the official anniversary). The beautiful weekend of weather we just had is the exact same weather we had five years ago. A perfect October day in the Napa Valley. I couldn't have asked for anything better. 

We had such an amazing weekend surrounded by lots of family and friends. My husband Barry and I decided to have a big wedding to include all the special people from different parts of our lives. We just couldn't imagine not having them all with us to celebrate. It was especially fun for me to share my work life with my family and friends, many of whom had only seen pictures of my weddings but never experienced one in person. 

Our venue was a beautiful estate called Oak Knoll Ranch, modeled after a famous New Orleans manor. It is so pretty in pale pink, with white wrap-around porches and old wisteria vines. I designed the style of the wedding after the surroundings - we built upon the southern feel and the color palette to create an elegant yet relaxed affair with pale pink throughout. 

The whole day was a bit surreal, but being the bride and not the planner was an easier transition than I thought. In fact, everyone kept remarking how calm I was - I owe that to my amazing staff, who took care of every detail so I could enjoy the day.

It was so special to me to have an incredible team of vendors, people I have known and worked with for years, help make the wedding so beautiful, so simple and so me. Additionally, Barry and I both treasure our parents dearly, and that we both got to walk into our wedding ceremony on their arms is a priceless moment we'll cherish all our lives. And I must mention another special guest of honor, Roscoe. Roscoe was my dog before Barry and I met, but Barry fell quickly in love with the little guy and insisted he be part of our big day too. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the incredible vendors who made the day so special:

Elaine Bell Catering  ~ all of the delicious southern food, the raw oyster bar at cocktails, all of the passed hors d'oeuvres, the mint juleps in pewter cups and especially the mouth-watering fried chicken dinner

Stanlee Gatti Designs ~ the gardenia chuppah that people still talk about - the smell carried throughout the garden, the largest most beautiful lily of the valley bridal bouquet ever and the pale pink delicate reception flowers

Zephyr Tents ~ the sail cloth dining tent and kids tent

Illusions Lighting ~ spectacular lighting in the tents and on the property to highlight the beautiful trees and architecture

Innovative Entertainment ~ romantic music by the Tim Hockenberry Band

KLC Music ~ elegant string music by her talented string quintet for the ceremony

Johnson Edwards Entertainment ~ a packed dance floor, courtesy of Durell Coleman Band

Perfect Endings ~ the sweetest of endings to the evening - my wedding cake, dessert buffet and mini boxed southern pecan pie favors

A Day in May ~ lovely letterpress custom designed printed materials

Barbara Callow ~ the beautiful calligraphy on my save the dates, invitations and day of materials

Jim Avila and Wallet Luburich ~ flawless wedding day hair and makeup

Joan Gilbert for my wedding gown I felt so wonderful in

Thread ~ for the adorable flower girls dresses

Robert Talbott ~ for the dapper men's and boy's ties

Photography by Thayer Gowdy, Eliot Holtzman and Miguel Fairbanks ~ I still can't believe I was so lucky to have three amazing photographers cover my day. Truly a dream come true!

{photography by Eliot Holtzman}

Monday, October 10, 2011

Engagement Shoots: Jose Villa

The last couple weeks have been all about inspiration for me. I've been traveling in Europe, reveling in the beauty of Paris, Portofino, Florence and Rome. After a very busy fall event season, it's just what I needed to replenish my energy, both physically and creatively. From the food, to the scenery, to the service, I've found so many wonderful sources of inspiration for next year's weddings and events.

One place I continuously find inspiration is in the work of Jose Villa - wedding photographer extraordinaire. His work is filled with so much ethereal beauty, it's heavenly.  Jose recently shot two of our wedding couples for next year in their engagement sessions. An engagement shoot is not only a wonderful opportunity to bond with your photographer, but when you work with someone as talented as Jose, it leaves you with photos you will treasure throughout your married life.

Just look at these two beautiful couples - so in love and picture perfect. I can't wait to share their wedding photos with you next year.

Ruthie + Ian

Jenet + Chris

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